I’ve never read Virginia Woolf, and I’ve always heard mixed reviews – probably because of her focus on life’s mundanities and her harsh realism, void of overly romanticised observations or uncommon situations. I thought her short stories would be a good way to ease myself in.
Woolf’s stories can be likened to how, in her story “Solid Objects“, she describes a child’s process of selecting a specific rock on a path full of them – completely arbitrary and yet painfully contemplated. Each story is a small scene or anecdote that, as a result of being a part of the world, reflects the entire world. A shard of mirror that can reflect nothing but reality, despite being fragmented.
I love some of them. I had to read some of them twice and then I loved them. I had to read some of them twice, then read a summary explanation article, then read it again knowing what it was meant to be about, and then I loved them. And some I didn’t like. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t give them a go – nobody writes off a book because of a bad chapter, and I’m a firm believer you should adopt the same approach with short story anthologies.